Futures Flat Ahead of Important Week in Data

Dow Jones Newswires

Wall Street looked set for a flat open Monday as traders returned from the Thanksgiving break to an important week of data that kicks off with a gauge of U.S. manufacturing.

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Mixed global data undermined sentiment some.

Investors will continue to watch for indications of how the holiday shopping season is shaping up for retailers. Ebay Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. may attract extra attention as "Cyber Monday" one of the biggest online shopping day of the year, kicks off.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell 6 points to 16060 and those for the S&P 500 index fell 2.1 points to 1802. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index inched up 1 point to 3488.50.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index for November is due at 10 a.m. EST. In October, the index rose to 56.4%, the highest level since April 2011. At the same time, a report on constructing spending for October is due.

Both follow the Markit purchasing managers index for November, due around 9.a.m. EST.

But the week's biggest piece of data will be Friday's November monthly jobs report and its potential to rattle stocks. Some worry that if the reading on nonfarm payrolls is much stronger than expected, the Federal Reserve could decide at its meeting later this month to taper its bond-buying program. Most strategists are forecasting a March tapering, though.

Among the major indexes performances from last week, the Dow industrials rose 0.1% and 3.5% for the month of November. The S&P 500 rose 1.7% for the week and 3.6%, respectively.

In overseas markets, stocks in China tumbled after the country signalled an imminent end to a moratorium on initial public offerings. Investors fretted the increased supply will pressure prices. On the data front, China's official manufacturing PMI index came in at 51.4 in November, ahead of market expectations.

In Europe, stocks struggled for direction. The euro zone's final manufacturing PMI rose to 51.6 in November, up from a flash 51.5 estimate, with output, new orders and new exports all up for the fifth-straight month. However, manufacturing employment continued to slide.

Gold prices fell and oil was also slightly lower, while the dollar tracked higher.

Shares of eBay and Amazon are among online retailers under the microscope for Monday. In addition, weekend headlines pointed to the fact that the overall Thanksgiving shopping period saw more shoppers, but spending overall declined.